Baseball Continues Conference Play At Hartford
Baseball Continues Conference Play At Hartford
ALBANY, N.Y. – The University at Albany baseball team returns to America East Conference action this weekend, traveling to take on the Hartford Hawks. The squads will play a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 1:00 p.m. and a single game Sunday, also at 1:00 p.m.
Hartford: Sean Newcomb (3-2, 1.40 ERA) Jr., LHP
UAlbany: Ryan Stinar (1-2, 6.00 ERA) So., RHP
Hartford: Brian Hunter (1-5, 3.05 ERA) Sr., RHP
UAlbany: Kevin Archbold (1-1, 2.48 ERA) Sr., LHP
UAlbany: Stephen Woods (1-3, 7.96 ERA) Fr., RHP
SCOUTING THE GREAT DANES
2014 Record: 7-19, 4-8 America East
Head Coach: Jon Mueller (15th season / 307-427-5)
THE COACH: Jon Mueller is in his 15th season as the head coach of the University at Albany baseball program in 2014. The Stillwater, N.Y. native has had proven success as both a player and coach throughout his career. Mueller ranks first among UAlbany’s career leaders with 307 coaching victories, and was named the America East Coach of the Year in 2004. He also led the Danes to the program’s first America East Conference tournament championship title and NCAA appearance in 2007. Mueller has produced dozens of all-conference standouts and has had six players selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft under his direction, including two in the past three seasons.
LAST TIME OUT: With Tuesday’s game versus St. John’s cancelled, UAlbany comes off a 1-3 week. After Marist rallied with two runs in the bottom of the ninth, sending the game into extras, UAlbany captured a 7-6 victory over the hosting Red Foxes last Tuesday in a 10-inning affair. Junior Alex Lushkevich scored the game-winning run, getting driven home on sophomore Richard Bacon’s RBI double. Over the weekend, the Danes suffered a three-game sweep at the hands of the visiting UMBC Retrievers. UMBC led the entire way in game one’s 4-2 win, but came from behind in Saturday’s nightcap, scoring five unanswered runs in the top of the seventh inning for a 9-5 victory. In Sunday’s series finale, the Retrievers built a 9-0 lead in the first four innings and held on to win 10-6.
UALBANY LEADERS: Batting .242 as a team, redshirt senior Brian Bullard leads the team with a .311 average, along with 10 RBIs and 13 runs. Sophomore Evan Harasta (.298, 14 RBI) and senior D.J. Hoagboon (.296, 14 RBI) sit just on the cusp of the .300 mark. Junior Craig Lepre follows with a .279 average and a team-high 18 RBIs. Defensively, the Great Danes have a .935 fielding percentage, while the pitching staff owns a collective 6.63 ERA.
SCOUTING THE HAWKS
2014 Record: 18-14, 6-2 America East
Head Coach: Justin Blood (3rd season / 51-90)
THE COACH: Justin Blood is in his third season as head coach of Hartford, his first head coaching position. Blood came to Hartford by way of UConn where he served six seasons as the Huskies’ pitching coach and recruiting coordinator. Last season, Blood led the Hawks to a 17-36 record, the most overall wins since 2008. The Hawks also finished with a 13-17 mark in conference action, marking Hartford’s most league victories since the 1992 season (18-10).
LAST TIME OUT: Hartford comes off a 4-2 midweek loss to Army. Army scored one run in the second and three in the seventh before the Hawks tallied two in the bottom of the ninth. Senior catcher James Alfonso led Hartford at the plate, finishing 2-for-3 with a double. On the mound, Brian Murphy took the loss, tossing the opening 4.2 frames.
HARTFORD LEADERS: As a team, Hartford is batting .233 led by James Alfonso’s .271 average with 16 RBIs, two home runs, and six doubles. Ryan Lukach and Brady Sheetz follow closely behind with a .270 and .268 average, respectively. Defensively, the Hawks have a .967 fielding percentage, while the pitching staff boasts a 2.77 collective ERA led by junior Sean Newcomb. Newcomb is among the top-50 draft prospects in the nation who opened the season without allowing an earned run through his first 40 innings on the mound. UAlbany is slated to face him in game one.
BULLARD’S BIG BAT
Senior Brian Bullard batted .529 last week (9-for-17) with three RBIs and three runs scored. He also boasted a .667 average in the three-game conference series with UMBC with eight hits total. Bullard went 4-for-4 in the series finale with an RBI sac fly and a run scored, and went 2-for-4 in each game of Saturday’s doubleheader.
NETHWAY NAMED SENIOR CLASS CANDIDATE
Thirty NCAA® baseball student-athletes who excel both on and off the diamond were selected as candidates for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award® in collegiate baseball, and Josh Nethaway has been recognized as a member of that group. Nethaway has notable achievements in all four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. A dual major in Accounting and Rhetoric & Communication, as well as a Business minor, Nethaway boasts a 3.20 cumulative GPA. A two-year captain, Nethaway is actively involved in UAlbany’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and a number of community service projects. On the field, Nethaway was named a first-team All-America East outfielder, earned America East Player of the Week accolades twice, and was named the team’s MVP in 2013.
The Great Danes will open a five-game home stand Wednesday, hosting non-conference foe Manhattan at 3:00 p.m.